The trio's repertoire has been eclectic from the outset, comprising folk songs, schoolyard chants, pop tunes, camp songs, singing games, rounds and nonsense rhymes, performed variously in jazz, calypso, rock 'n' roll, country and folk styles. The group's recordings and the participatory nature of its concerts are designed to allow children and their parents to share the experience of making music.
With the success of One Elephant, Deux Éléphants, Sharon, Lois & Bram travelled across Canada as part of the Greatest Little Touring Supershow for Young People in 1979 and made their US debut at the Lincoln Center Out-of-Doors Festival in New York in 1980. By the mid-1980s Sharon, Lois & Bram toured regularly and extensively throughout Canada and the US, appearing in major concert halls and at summer music festivals. They made their 'pops' debut with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra in 1980 and subsequently performed with many symphony orchestras in Canada and the US. Initially they were accompanied in concert by the percussionist Bill Usher (producer of their early recordings). In 1982 they introduced the Mammoth Band, led until 1988 by Ray Parker and thereafter by Grant Slater, both keyboard players. Over the years, an extensive cast of Toronto folk and jazz musicians assisted the trio on their recordings.
After making several CBC and CTV specials and the 1982 film Sharon, Lois & Bram at Young People's Theatre, they developed, with Cambium Productions of Toronto, the TV series Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show. First broadcast by the CBC in 1984, it also has been seen in Canada on TV Ontario, Youth TV, educational networks in the US and other countries and the Nickelodeon cable channel starting in 1987. In 1993 the show was ranked second on the US TV Guide list of the top ten children's programs. Given the turnover in its young audience every few years, the 65-episode series continued to enjoy great success in syndication. Production ceased in 1988; however, several episodes from the series have been released on video.
Skinnamarink TV was created by Twist Productions in association with Craftsman & Scribes Creative Workshop, The Learning Channel, and CBC for Skinnamarink Entertainment. Each of the 26 episodes incorporated songs and educational comedy skits for their young viewers, and like the Elephant Show, the programs continue to be broadcast on The Learning Channel, and CBC.
Sharon, Lois & Bram won Juno awards for best children's album in 1980 (Smorgasbord), 1981 (Singing 'n' Swinging) and 1999 (Skinnamarink TV Singalong). All sold more than 100,000 copies in Canada, as did Mainly Mother Goose, In the Schoolyard, and Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show Record. By 1991 total international sales exceeded 2.5 million. The trio also has published the song and games books Elephant Jam (Toronto 1980, revised 1989), Sharon, Lois & Bram's Mother Goose (Vancouver 1985), and Sharon, Lois & Bram Sing A to Z (Vancouver 1991). Booklets of lyrics and music have been included with most of their albums. The trio's most-requested songs included 'Skinnamarink,' 'One Elephant,' 'Five Little Monkeys,' 'She'll Be Coming Around the Mountain,' 'Eensy Weensy Spider,' and 'Peanut Butter'.
Sharon Hampson and Bram Morrison continue to tour and perform as Sharon, Bram and Friends. Lois Lilienstein stopped touring in 2000. In addition to their entertainment careers, Sharon, Lois and Bram have been Canadian ambassadors for UNICEF since 1988, and all became members of the Order of Canada in 2002.
See Children's concerts.
Stay Tuned. 1976. A&M Records. (Sharon Hampson)
One Elephant, Deux Éléphants. 1978. Elephant Records LFN-78-01
One Elephant Went Out to Play. 1978. Drive Entertainment.
Smorgasbord. 1979. LFN-79-02
Singing 'n' Swinging. 1980. LFN-80-04
In the Schoolyard. 1981. Elephant Records. LFN-81-05
One, Two, Three, Four, Look's Who's Coming through the Door!. 1982. Elephant Records. LFN-82-07
Mainly Mother Goose. 1984. LFN-8409
Sharon, Lois & Bram's Elephant Show Record. 1986. Elephant Records. LFN-8613
Stay Tuned. 1987. Elephant Records. LFN-8714
Happy Birthday. 1988. Elephant Records. LFN-8815
Car Tunes for Summertime. 1989. Elephant Records. CAR 48901
Car Tunes about Animals. 1989. Elephant Records. CAR 48902
Car Tunes for Sleepytime. 1989. Elephant Records. CAR 48904
Car Tunes for Showstoppers. 1990. Elephant Records. CAR 49005
Car Tunes for Schooldays. 1990. Elephant Records. CAR 49006
Car Tunes for after School. 1990. Elephant Records. CAR 49007
Car Tunes for Naming Games. 1990. Elephant Records. CAR 49008
Sing A to Z. 1990. Elephant Records. LFN-9016 (CD and cass)
Kidbits. Elephant Records. 1992. LFN49220
Great Big Hits. 1992. A&M Records.
Candles, Snow & Mistletoe. 1993. Elephant Records. 256519320-4
All the Fun You Can Sing! 1993. Elephant Records. 5182572
Sing Around the Campfire. 1994. Elephant Records. 25651-9422-4
Snow. 1995 Drive Entertainment.
Let's Dance! 1995. Elephant Records. 25651-9525-4
Candles Long Ago. 1995. Drive Entertainment.
Candles Long Ago-Songs for the Chanukah Season. 1995. Drive Entertainment.
Let's Dance. 1995. Drive Entertainment.
Singing & Swinging. Drive Entertaiment. 1996. DE4-43246
Wild about Animals. 1997. Elephant Records. 25651-9630-4
One Elephant/Deux Éléphants. 1997. Casablanca Kids.
Elephant Party. 1998. Drive Entertainment. DE2-43244
Singalong. 1998. Elephant Records.
Skinnamarink TV. 1998. Skinnamarink Enterprises. 25651-9833-2
Silly & Sweet Songs. 1998. Skinnamarink Enterprises. 02565-19836-2
Travellin' Tunes. 1999. Mother's Love Records
Friends Forever. 1998. Skinnamarink Entertainment. 596
Superstar Singalong. 2002. Casablanca Kids Inc.
Great Big Hits 2. 2002. Elephant Records. CAS-CD-42106
Name Games. 2002. Casablanca Kids Inc.
Going to the Zoo. 2002. St Clair Entertainment Group. TNS43552
Playtime Songs. 2002. St Clair Entertainment Group. TNS43522
Earth, Moon & Stars. 2002. St Clair Entertainment Group. TNS43502
Mother Goose & More. 2003. St Clair Entertainment Group. TNS43572
Mainly Mother Goose. 2004. Casablanca Kids.
School Days. 2004. Casablanca Kids.
Everybody Sing! 2004. Casablanca Kids. CAS-CD-44000
Sleepytime. 2004. Casablanca Kids.
Sharp, Debra. 'Let's hear it for Miss Olson!' The Canadian, 18 Aug 1979
Carey, Elaine. 'What has 10 feet and 769,000 fans?' Toronto Star, 3 May 1987
Culp, Kristine. 'Happy 10th birthday!' Toronto Star, 25 Sep 1988
Links to Other Sites
Sharon, Lois & Bram's Mother Goose
A brief review of their Mother Goose book, which includes music activities for kids. A University of Manitoba website.
Sharon, Lois and Bram Sing A to Z
A review of a musical book for children by Sharon, Lois, and Bram. A University of Manitoba website.
Sharon and Bram
Sing along with Sharon and Bram, the latest incarnation of the popular children’s musical group. A "LiveTourArtists" website.
The Beginnings of the Children's (Folk) Music Industry in Canada
This site discusses the growth of children's music in Canada. From the Canadian Journal for Traditional Music.
Sharon, Lois, & Bram
Listen to little music samples of some of your favourite Sharon, Lois, & Bram songs at this Casablanca Media website.
Shawnadithit grew anxious waiting for her uncle, Longnon, to return to camp at the junction of Badger Brook and the Exploits River, deep in the wilds of Newfoundland...